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Imelda Staunton to play Queen in final of The Crown

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Imelda Staunton says she is "honoured" to play the Queen in what will be the fifth and final series of the hit TV drama The Crown.

The 64-year-old actress will take over the role from Olivia Colman who made her debut in series three which came out late last year.

Colman will also play the monarch in the fourth season that is currently in production.

The first two series of the Netflix show starred Claire Foy as Her Majesty. All three actresses are British.

Staunton, well-known for her roles in films like Harry Potter and TV shows such as Vera Drake and A Confession, said: "I have loved watching The Crown from the very start.

"As an actor it was a joy to see how both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman brought something special and unique to Peter Morgan's scripts.

"I am genuinely honoured to be joining such an exceptional creative team and to be taking The Crown to its conclusion."

It was initially thought the show would run for six series, spanning six decades.

The third series followed events including the Aberfan mining disaster, the Moon landing, the romance between Prince Charles and Camilla Shand and the investiture of Charles as the Prince of Wales.

The fourth series is currently in production at Elstree Studios and locations across the UK.

It will see the introduction of Diana, Princess of Wales, played by Emma Corrin, and Margaret Thatcher, played by Gillian Anderson.

Peter Morgan, the show's writer and creator, appeared to confirm the timeline of the fifth series will reach the 2000s when he said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to confirm Imelda Staunton as Her Majesty The Queen for the fifth and final
season, taking The Crown into the 21st Century.

"Imelda is an astonishing talent and will be a fantastic successor to Claire Foy and Olivia Colman."

Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix, said: "The first three seasons of The Crown defined an era, and I know the upcoming fourth season will build further on that success.

"It's a stunning example of award-winning entertainment, created in the UK and loved by millions of fans around the world.

"I fully support Peter Morgan's creative decision and am excited to see how he, Imelda Staunton and the cast and crew of season five, bring this landmark series to a fitting and spectacular end."

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